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News from sparkplugloy
posted at 05:08 pm on 02-18-2005
Winter vacations. Ten days to rest, study and think about how to go through the rest of the schoolyear in college.
Living alone is hard. There are so many things to think about and deal with each and everyday that sometimes it is too much. But I am lucky : I go back home every week-end.
I got the results of the exams for the first semester. I did not get all the tests ; I failed half of them. Not that I did not know what I had to know, but I did not have time to finish the tests because I could not focus enough in the big lecture halls where they took place and my explanations were not using the logic they expected. Also dysgraphia does not help but I think my handwriting was not the biggest problem.
Anyway, the new semester has begun and so far I am doing fine. I passed the first test in the Computers Science class easily and I am in the same group as other students who have an interest in astrophysics. I guess some of them are gifted but no Aspies. Statistically, I calculated that chances are there must be ONE OTHER aspie in the whole first year class.
Talking about peers, I see the ones who invited me only during lectures and once a week in a chemistry class or in computer science. I still sit with them during the lectures sometimes. Also, they give me their notes so that I can type them and send them on a website where students can download them - because the teachers no longer want to do this. Many of them do not understand why I do so, but they think it is great because they have the notes online.
I will soon be able to get an official diagnosis as I am now eighteen years old. But I do not know where to start. It seems simple : I have to make an appointment. But what can I say ? How can I explain why I am there ?
I will keep on writing here but also have another blog, called I Landed On Earth : http://iloe.blogspot.com.
My College Experience so far (three months)
posted at 11:17 am on 11-27-2004
It is hard because I forget to do things all the time so my parents are mad at me for that every week-end and it is stressful. Maybe I should write down more precise lists of the things I have to do.
My brother comes from time to time to eat a pizza (so the pizzaiolo knows who I am now).
They are easy in theory but then I seem to fail the tests because of my ADHD and handwriting and inability to explain things the way they want. OK, my first grade is a 17/20 (=A), which is the third best grade in the class (there were a 20/20 - perfect grade, by a guy whom I think is also gifted, not because he got a good grade, but because of what I understand of his personnality) and a 18/20).
SOCIAL INTERACTION WITH TEACHERS
I can not talk to the mathematics teacher anymore because he does not stay at the end of the class anymore. But the BioCell teacher (I do not take BioCell in theory, but I attend the classes because it is interesting) is nice. He thought I was in his class last year already. He asks interesting questions.
SOCIAL INTERACTION WITH PEERS
Not so bad. I must admit that I really focus on the social aspect of college to be sure that the other students will not start to call me names, etc, as it happened before I was homeschooled, and it has an impact on my studies and health (I am VERY tired.) But I do not know whether I should stop. I have told some people about AS and they took it very well. I think I will tell others but the problem is that if THEY do not take it well, since they are in my class, it will be harder. I should try but I do not really dare to do it.
Mid-term break - After two months
posted at 03:00 pm on 10-24-2004
I am on vacations for one week. College started two months ago.
My brother still comes once a week to check everything is fine. There are a few problems in my studentroom because there are always broken things. Besides, some neighbors party until 2 AM.
Classes are still easy but my grades do not show that because I have trouble finishing the tests on time. The mathematics teacher gives me other exercises, about the number theories, for instance, and we think about them at the end of the lecture. I like that.
SOCIAL INTERACTION WITH PEERS
Surely my particularities have been noticed now. But I have not told any student. I am still hesitating, as I wrote in a message on the message board of wrongplanet.net. Some students stopped talking to me suddenly at the beginning of the week. I would like to know why. Others invited me to go ice-skating on Wednesday night and we had fun. I had a strong headache during two days because the music there was loud, but it was worth it, I think.
About college - different aspects
posted at 02:04 pm on 10-01-2004
October 1st. College started exactly one month ago. I thought I would tell you about my experience there now.
I kept several aspects : living alone, classes, social interaction with teachers, social interaction with peers.
I have a small studentroom near my college. I feel great there now that I am used to it, but I am not independent. My brother came each week to check everything was ok, but he does not want to do that again. He told me "Make friends, I do not want to spend money to eat here each week." I must say that I am not a good cooker ; when he came on Wednesday, we ate pizzas from the shop at the corner of the street. No regret, they were delicious.
So far, it is easy, and frankly sometimes I was bored and thought "But I did that when I was in the seventh grade !". But it will be like that during the whole semester, therefore I better get used to it. Fortunately, most teachers answer your questions. I take seven courses (normally, students take six, but I had the authorization to take seven), which are Mathematics Analysis I, Physics 101, Chemistry 101, Computers I, Computers 102 with Algorithmics, Biology of Living Organisms 102, Planetary and Earth Science 1. In all classes, we have lectures (200 students), classic classes in smaller groups (40 to 75) and experiments (20 to 30 students). I like PES lectures most.
SOCIAL INTERACTION WITH TEACHERS
I can not say zero because I talk from time to time with the PES teacher, who is a great teacher. But I ask questions at the end of the lecture sometimes. I do that because I know they do their best to give an answer.
SOCIAL INTERACTION WITH PEERS
I can not say zero either. I do not know why, but it seems that some people think I am a "smart, weird computer-geek" so they went to talk to me about computers, and sometimes other classes like physics, so in the end, I got two e-mails adresses and some people talk to me about the classes sometimes. Last Tuesday, I was picked up for a binomial work without being the last one to choose. I only talk about classes but I think it is great anyway after only a month. I have trouble with eye contact, tone of voice, vocabulary and kiss as greetings (which I am still to find a way to avoid) but I do not know if they have noticed because if they have, they did not tell me. No one knows about any of my "particularities".
College and me, with a DX in the middle
posted at 09:52 am on 09-18-2004
It has been two weeks since I posted, but I have been very busy getting adjusted to college and living on my own. My brother is very helpful for that ; he sends me text messages on my cell phone everyday and he comes from time to time to my studentroom to have dinner together, etc. His studentroom is one hour from mine because he uses the tramway to come.
Concerning college, so far it is ok. Not all the classes have started, and the one that have are kind of easy during the first semester, yet what we do is interesting. I managed to go to a biochemistry class with people of Master (fourth year), and it was one of the most interesting classes I had this week, with also the Planetary Science class. In fact, my Biology class was canceled so I went to the other class in front of mine, just to see what it was about, and the teacher told me to go in instead of staying at the door.
I did not make friends there, but I have recognized faces and some people came to me to ask questions about the computer class so I talked to them a little. It took me only two weeks to be the geek there !
My parents wanted me to buy new clothes and this is really not my thing. I am not at all into fashion. But I eventually found a few comfortable clothes and there is a tee-shirt I really like. It is blue with the saying "Just think" on the front. I bought it from LaFraise.com.
The rest of my classes start next week therefore I have a lot to do this week-end.
First days in college.
posted at 11:09 am on 09-03-2004
After two years of homeschooling which were really great, I went to college on Wednesday. I arrived an hour early because I found the shorter way which my father and I did not have to look for the day before. I waited in the hall as it got crowded, but in the end, I went out because it was too noisy.
After the director's speech at 8:30, we had the whole day to choose our mentions - after seeing the teachers for each mention (major) - and the cultural activities. I first went to the "cultural activities" because I already knew I would have to take STE. I picked MUST and Atelier Cinéma. MUST is an association that manage music bands. And Atelier Cinéma is to make movies ; they help produce and direct short films. I also took the info to create an IYA club (International Youth Advocates : www.iya4peace.fr.st for more info).
Then, I went to the STE presentation, where a guy I knew when I went to school recognized me. He thought I would be in the second year, not in the first one. I managed to avoid the "kiss on the cheeks" greetings that is so popular - thanks to the boy in question for remembering I hate it !
During the presentation, I realized there was a problem : there is almost nothing about astronomy/astrophysics in STE, and it is "The creation of the Universe" and "The Solar System". All levels, suitable for beginner. And there is no paleontology anymore in STE. In short, it is only the basics of astronomy, and the rest of the course consists of environment, but not in the way they told be it would be studied when I signed the paper earlier this summer. I had to ask the teacher and he said that it was not STE I should take a major. I started to be a little confused, as it was what they told me I should take so I asked other teachers, and the answer was once STE, once physics. I ended up not knowing what to choose so I called my brother and he said I should take physics but I should ask another person to be sure before. But the next presentation was at 16:30 and it was 15:30 so I went to the Int'l Relations Office to get information to go to Sweden next year. They just told me that there was no ERASMUS program before the fourth year (Really ? So why did I see at least thirty ERASMUS student from Spain, England, Japan and Russia here in the first year today ?) and that therefore, if I wanted to go, I would have to do it myself and ask the university in Sweden. Getting that answer took me almost an hour because of the number of ERASMUS student who were waiting before me to have some papers signed. Then I went to another presentation, and during his speech, the president of the university mentionned he is an astrophysicist. So after the presentation, at 17:20, I waited to talk to him, which I could do when all the students had gone. And he said "Take physics as a major and STE Creation of the Universe and Solar System as your option."
At 18:00, I eventually came back to my studentroom, with nothing to do. I read several books but had nothing to do again at 20:30 so I had dinner and went to bed, at 21:00. But people came back from parties at 2:28 and it was raining therefore I did not sleep from 2:28 to 6:00. I got up at 7:00 on Thursday and went to the presentations of the courses in each option (not a class). Then I went to the presentation of a course which all first-year student have to take - but you can be dispensed from a part of it if you can use a computer really well. That course is called PMI-Méthodologie-PPP and consists in three parts. The first part, PMI, lasts three weeks in September. It is the basics of computers, and the good news are that we will use Unix and have an e-mail account at the university. Then, we will have Méthodolodie, which is, according to my brother, really boring. And last, PPP, or Projet Personnel & Professionel, which means that teachers will make groups of six students who will have to work together to prepare a lecture about a subject.
At 13:00, my parents called me, and since I knew what I should take since the day before, they decided to come, sign the papers and take me home. I waited for them and when we went to the office to let the university know about my choice, as it is required, they told us that... you can not take STE as your option if you take physics as a major. I am not kidding : the woman even asked other people in case there was a mistake on the paper. I said that I would take STE anyway because I want to take an astronomy course, and they said they would see if it is possible next week, but that I had to choose another option for the moment, so I took BioCell I, which is not an option if your mention is STE, but is one in physics. And then, my parents went to the store to take some furniture for my room, which were not available when we went there on Monday.
And we came home.
My parents told me that they are thinking about letting me have a computer with a TV tuner at my studentroom so I will be able to go online, type down my notes and watch DVDs. I will have about twenty hours of classes each week so I have to find something to do when I have finished studying.
To sum up, these first days were ok, but rather boring. It would have been easier and clearer to read the presentations at home instead of having a teacher read them aloud in a lecture hall. I hope it will be academically great. In physics, we will have no lecture, only three classes in small groups and three days (3x 6h) of creative experiments. In computers, we have programming.
posted at 10:04 am on 08-19-2004
College starts in fewer than two weeks and at last, I have found a studentroom near the university (five minutes walk), and next to the CNRS (French National Science Research Center). It is small but great : 18m2, with one wall being a window. There is a private balcony and a small garden, to share with about five other persons.
STE in college
posted at 02:10 pm on 07-22-2004
There is a discussion on this site about aspies going to college or not. Personnally, I decided to attend college. Yesterday, I visited my university "faculté des sciences et techniques" and chose my option (like a major).
It is "STE", which stands for "Sciences de la Terre et de l'Environnement". I will study planetary sciences, geology and paleontology in that class. It includes six hours of research "on the field", which is a good thing. I
will have to choose additional options : physics, mathematics, BioCell I and computer programming ("Computer I" is basic : how to use the internet and OpenOffice so I decided to just skip it and take "Computer programming", which consists in mathematics and Mapple mainly).
Now, I have to find an apartment near the college.
I will go to college.
posted at 11:58 am on 07-09-2004
First, as this is the first entry, welcome to my blog. I have started one in French about two months before, but I decided to start one here as well so that I can write it in English.
I just learned I passed my high school exit exam (after the "oral", which you take when your grade at the written exam is just below the passing grade, but since I got good grades at the oral, I passed, almost with a special "mention").
Maybe some of you do not know what we call a "mention". In France, you get grades on a scale, from 0 to 20. If your grade is above 10, you pass the exam. If it is above 12, you get a "Rather good" mention. If it is above 14, you get a "Good" mention. And if it is above 16, you get a "Very good" mention. Above 15 is the "Honors Roll".
I got 8 (3 to 15 grades) at the written exam, and 12 at the oral (with an 8 and a 16).
Therefore, in October, I will go to college during one year and study sciences.